A Podcast to inspire and motivate women in midlife! Let's Calm the Chaos in our lives so we can go after our purpose and passion!

The Calm the Chaos Podcast is a weekly podcast featuring guests who help to inspire and motivate women in midlife towards their goals and dreams! They share their messages and provide the listener with resources and content to take that next step. 

If you have a story you’d like to share with our listeners, please contact me. 

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It was a total pleasure to speak with Deborah. She’s a wonderful and well-informed interviewer who drew out the ideas from my book through her insightful questions that would most help women in mid-life. The resulting interview was informative and fun.

Sharon Valenti


Sharon Valenti’s thirst for knowledge led her to spend time in various places around the U.S., as well as a journey throughout India and the shores and villages of Indonesia.   Consistently pursuing her own awakening, she is motivated to help others do the “work” and seek a shift within themselves.  In this podcast, we are talking about mastering your thoughts and emotions!  

Sharon shares that in her past growing up she experienced a lot of physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse.  But through her work, she has acknowledged that each of these moments of trauma in her life served a purpose.  She feels it makes her more empathetic to others who have walked that same road.  Sharon considers herself a success story because she chooses not to stay in a victim mindset.   Now she can offer that same help to others.  

During our discussion, Sharon shares that what moved her forward to finding the peace and joy in her life was when she recognized that she was blaming everybody else for what was going on in herself and not taking responsibility.  She then learned how to question the stories that she was creating.  Each time she was triggered by someone she taught herself to “get still”  and find out what was the belief she had going on about herself that triggered those feelings. Sharon gives some great examples about how when we are younger some experiences can lead us to believe things are really not true about ourselves.  Sharon found that when she stopped arguing with reality, then the peacefulness in her life began to take root.  

Sharon goes on to share that there are three types of Business

  • My Business
  • Your Business
  • The Divine’s Business

When we are in our “own business”  then we are showing confidence in ourselves.  We ultimately raise our energy. In our conversation, Sharon gives some great examples on this scenario.  It’s up to us to train our minds and body to stay in our business.  

It’s important that we seek validation within ourselves and not look to other people to give us that reinforcement and raise our energy vibration.  

Sharon also shares how she stays in the present moment so she is aware of the true reality of the situation. She gives some great tips on how to train your mind to do that very thing!  We are told to stay in the present moment but we are never taught.  

We discuss staying in our own business and Sharon shares a great mantra:  How do I know it should have happened? Because it did.  When you embrace that you realize that the past has already happened and you don’t keep revisiting it in your mind.  It only causes pain to keep arguing with reality.  

Sharon encourages us all to show up and question what people say about us and if it’s true.  We don’t need to prove anything to anybody. Just simply being alive is enough.  How are you uplifting yourself with positive information and people? When you start to surround yourself with positivity in your life, the negative people will drop off.  

Remember to question those underlying beliefs.  Are they really true and whose beliefs are they anyway?  Be careful, you may be carrying around someone else’s belief.  




Hope Kelaher


Hope Kelaher is a therapist who has extensive training in relational and systematic therapy.  Her passion is helping those who are struggling with anxiety and depression find healing connections among family and friends.  Hope is the author of Here to Make Friends. How to make friends as an Adult 

Hope begins by sharing that two years ago she was supporting a close family member who got preoccupied with working and taking care of their family and woke up one morning and felt anxious and depressed about the loss and lack of connections in their life. Being a relational and systemic therapist, this is something she sees quite often in her practice. During this process, Ulysses press reached out to her and asked what she thought about writing a book and so the journey continued.  She saw this as a sign and went all in.  This is a short book with nuggets of good reminders for those that are invested in building out a greater community of life for themselves.  

Reflecting back on writing the book, Hope learned that it’s ok to have different types of friendships who are in your networkand can give you what you need. We all cannot be everything to everybody at the same time. It is important to examine when you do need support around relationships or finances and that you recognize who it is that you can turn to for that support.  A friend may be a strength to you in one area and perhaps not another.  

It seems that life priorities have a way of getting in the way of us taking the initiative to cultivate new friendships.  Hope reminds us that we can’t always rely on that friend being there and that the relationship needs to take ownership from both sides.  She has seen in her practice that sometimes we underestimate the amount of work it takes to maintain a good relationship.  

We discuss creating authentic friendships and how being vulnerable, having reciprocity and healthy conflict resolution is key.  Hope shares examples of this from her own life which is very helpful.  

Hope shares what she views as a “soulmate friendship”  which is different than a friendship of utility and pleasure.  As friends, you are serving a purpose in each other’s life.  You are not just liking a post on Facebook.  You show up differently and bring to the relationship different a different type of vulnerability.  

We discuss that cultivating new friendships is almost like dating and we need to be open to giving people a chance and putting ourselves out there in social opportunities which can be hard for those that may suffer from social anxiety.  Hope gives some tips on how to manage these types of situations.  We discuss different platforms that are available for people that want to connect and meet new people which may be a great possibility for you to explore!  

Keep in mind that when you put yourself out there to make a connection and it doesn’t work for some reason, please remember that many times it may not have anything to do with you.  They may just be unavailable to be open at that time.   Don’t take it personally!  Hope reminds us that like dating, you need to cast a wide net.  

Hope shares that her book is collaborative and she is hopeful that people can reflect on their own relationships and the way they show up.  There are a number of exercises that people can pick and choose from throughout the book. Her goal was to have concrete exercises that people could access and be able to check-in with themselves.  Hope shares a couple of the exercises that she likes in the book that you may want to try yourself.  

This is a great conversation that will help you to access your friendships and how you are showing up for others and what you may need from others in the future!  




Lori Ann King


Lori Ann King is on a mission to inspire you to live a life of true health, love, laughter and freedom!  She is the Amazon best-selling author of Come Back Strong, Balanced Wellness after Surgical Menopause, and a two-time contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series.  

Lori didn’t start off being a writer or an author as this journey came to her a bit later in life.  She found that she was communicating best when writing and it was her way to process those things around her easily.  

In 2014/ 2015, Lori experienced some health challenges and with her doctor, decided to remove an ovarian ovary and ovarian cyst.  She went into the surgery expecting to be right back at it in no time but that’s not what happened.   She woke up having a full hysterectomy and a full ovariectomy which means that everything was gone. With this procedure, you pretty much lose all your hormones so that puts you immediately into surgical menopause.  

Lori thought that menopause was night sweats and hot flashes but she wasn’t prepared for all the other symptoms that came: insomnia, the rollercoaster of emotions, weight gain, and brain fog.  She immediately felt out of balance.  

It was by researching online and getting involved with other blogs that she discovered other people writing on this topic and started to contribute with her writings.  She started to share her story to be an inspiration to others and it was then that she started to write and she kept on writing!  She found that through writing,  she was connecting with women globally which was very humbling.  Menopause is a global issue and we need to find a way to deal with these setbacks so we can find our balance and come back stronger! 

Lori goes on to share her experience of waking up and not being in control of her emotions and being frustrated by the pain and bloating in her body.  Little did Lori know that this would be years of trying out how to feel good again in her body.  This involved some hormone therapy and a lot of lifestyle changes as well.  She really had to ask herself “ Is this how I want to feel for the rest of my life or can I change it? “.  

Since writing the book, Lori has connected with women all over the world who have thanked her for writing her story as they feel less alone.  We as women want to be seen, heard, and be part of a community and not feel so alone.  

We talk about how her book has helped women who are going to be getting a hysterectomy and what they can do for themselves as it relates to hormone therapy and other modalities.  She also has many suggestions on how to enlist the help of a friend or family as support prior to a procedure and how they can support you in the overall journey.  

Lori was very fortunate that the doctor she was working with at the time was very knowledgeable in hormone therapy and felt that it is an art and science.  The Science part is the testing and the art is listening to the patient or symptoms and working together down the path together. Her doctor empowered her to play a role in her health.  

She shares that if you are not vibing with your doctor and something doesn’t feel right then find someone that has the same belief or that treats you as a powerful part of the partnership and collaboration.  

 Lori supports her community with her course:  Balanced Wellness During Menopause and coaching.  Lori shares that she can’t go back and change what happened to her but perhaps she can help ease someone’s pain through their situation.  Her course is born out of the book and helps women get through any type of situation, illness, surgery, or setback.  The concepts are specific to all menopause and not just surgical menopause.  

Lori goes on to share about another book that is coming out in September 2021 which is called:  Transform.  It’s a book about using your mind to transform your body.  It comes from her and her husband’s journey.  And if that isn’t enough there is another book called:  Wheels to Wellbeing which is also being released that same month.  This book helps us to understand the spokes to your wellbeing so that you can live a more blanched life.  

We discuss how Lori and her husband continue to make intentional goals and be one another’s support in tough and challenging situations.  They have a beautiful relationship that offers a lot of support and you’ll love hearing their story! 

Lori asks the important question.  What does healthy mean to you? What does movement mean to you?  It’s finding those things that you love to do, and define what healthy means to you that’s so important to your overall success.  We need to give ourselves grace and love during this change.  So often it comes from a place of hate and we need to come from a place of self-love.  Lori wants to live every single day as healthy and she can because there are people in her life that are counting on her!  And she needs the energy to do that! 🙂  

She encourages us to find the right movement that works for us and listen to our bodies.  Sometimes we may feel like being more physical and other times we may need something less like yoga or Thai Chi. Be curious and open to finding what works best for you.  It doesn’t need to be the same routine every day to be a form of self-care.  Listen to yourself and honor what comes up for you, that’s self-care.   


Connect with Lori Ann King

Connect with Lori on Instagram Here 

Free EBook  Wheels to Wellbeing 

Purchase any of Lori’s books here 

Connect with Deborah Voll

Take The Midlife Quiz

Passion and Purpose Digital Workbook



Elizabeth Dunkel is a writer, author and is here today talking about her journey in writing the book:  How to Live Like A Millionaire on a Retirement Budget!   I found Elizabeth through her website a couple of months ago! Her writing is wonderful and she tackles some great topics for us, women, over forty!  

Elizabeth starts by sharing how we think about retirement your entire life and dream of what it will be like for yourself and then you get to retirement and say, “ what is this?”  There is a fine balance between living a full life and preparing for retirement.  She says that in preparing to retire, you don’t want to air on the wrong on either side!  Elizabeth shares how your forties are a great time to get your financial house in order!  That first step is to become financially literate.  

She goes on to share that if you are not financially literate in your forties now is the time to get there!  The personal journey she shares about having gone through a financial crisis and learning more about the financial services industry helps us to understand and be able to move forward with a new story for women over forty! 

Elizabeth wanted to write her book so she could show how luxury and abundance is a mindset.  There are ways to live beautifully and luxuriously and like a millionaire on very little money!  It’s all about changing priorities.   It’s about living beneath your means but NOT scrimping!  

She goes on to say that luxury is all about developing your personal style and being authentically you. It’s about finding pleasure in the tremendous sensuality of life that is around you.  Elizabeth goes on to share that buying the perfect tomato and making a tomato sandwich with homemade bread is extraordinarily luxurious. It’s your care and time that went into making that sandwich that made it beautiful.   

Elizabeth shares that retirement is not a moment which is really how we viewed it long ago. You worked for a company and on a specific day, you received the gold watch.  Those days are over!  Retirement now takes a few years to ease into your mind and body.  She shares that it is a process of turning into a person who can truly pursue their passions. Elizabeth goes on to share the passions that she has discovered in this later season of life.  

In her book, she shares how to eat, travel, and dress like a millionaire and during our interview shares some of these lessons she has learned.  One great share from Elizabeth is that rushing is not luxurious!  Stop rushing to the airport!  It only creates and causes stress and makes you sweaty.  By leaving to the airport early you can arrive calm and have the time to relax and that doesn’t even cost a penny!  She shares many more examples in our conversation.  

We then have a great conversation about the process of aging and how we all have a special season of growth during each decade and how important it is to recognize and honor that journey!  It’s a beautiful conversation where Elizabeth shares her review of each season so that it may help us all to take a moment to enjoy ours!  

Elizabeth shares a great quote regarding fear:  “Fear is not an option”. – Diane Von Furstenberg.  There were plenty of times Elizabeth was afraid but she had to put her fear aside and take a risk to move back to the states and start a new life. You can live with fear but at some point, you have to put it aside so you can challenge yourself to move forward.  

Lastly, Elizabeth shares that being retired is like being a college student with money. You can read, sleep late, go to the movies. You are now a student of life!  How are you preparing for retirement and are you becoming financially literate?  Share in the comments!  



Connect with Elizabeth Dunkel 

Check out Elizabeth’s Writing at Sixty and ME  

Order the Book How to Retire Like a Millionaire on a Retirement Budget 

Connect with Deborah Voll

Take The Midlife Quiz

Passion and Purpose Digital Workbook



When Beth Garrett is not helping women dress for success, you can find her out on the dance floor! Today Beth shares what dancing has done for her life and hopefully inspires you to get out there and give it a try! If not the Carolina Shag then any form of dance that fills you with joy! 

 After retiring from corporate America, Beth decided to take up dancing. She’s always wanted to dance and one day someone invited her to dance and after one lesson, she’s never looked back!  Today Beth shares her passion for dancing and is encouraging us all to get out, be curious and try new things!  Who knows, maybe line dancing is in your future!  

Beth shares for the listeners that her line dancing is primarily the Carolina Shag which originated in Myrtle Beach, SC and it’s a beautiful dance.  Think of dancing to any four-count music like:  Under the Boardwalk.  ( take a listen ) 

After Beth’s move to Roanoke, Virginia she felt isolated and lonely and she didn’t have a lot of friends. It was after she started going to the dance events that she met people that have now become her very best friends!  Beth loves that dancing provides you with a sense of community.  

For a lot of women that would like to dance but don’t have a partner, line dancing is a great option because it doesn’t require a partner, and you never feel left behind.  You can feel included and make friendships along the way.  

Not only is line dancing inclusive, but it challenges your brain.   If you choose, you can continue to learn new dances which help you utilize your memory!  Dancing is a great way to get out, challenge your memory, and get some exercise! 

How do you find someplace to learn dancing or start to get involved in a community? Beth shares that a good place to start is your Parks and Recreation Department which may offer classes.  You may also want to check Facebook or ask your friends if they have heard of any groups.  

Beth tackles the fear someone may feel going to an event on their own and how to get over that hurdle because she’s done it too!  She offers some insight, so if you are on the fence about going to an event on your own perhaps this will help you make the leap.  

Beth and her husband are now taking their RV to the road and attending beach music events in their geography!  They  have made a lot more friendships with other couples doing the same with camping and attending the events which was very surprising to her the following in the line dancing community. 

Dancing also helps Beth maintain her flexibility and help with her weight management.  Some extra bonuses that she has enjoyed along the way.  

Beth is now helping a DJ grow his audience! She created a Facebook page and is now teaching line dancing to others with his music on Tuesday evening!  I’m sure Beth never thought that she would be teaching the dance but she finds it fun and rewarding!  

I hope that Beth has inspired you to dust off your dancing shoes and get out and find some dance moves that you’ll enjoy!  Share with the community if you are now dancing!  



Under the Boardwalk, By The Drifters  

Learn to Dance the Carolina Shag Dance 

Connect with Beth Garrett at Elevating Your Image

Beth’s Previous Interview on Calm The Chaos here 

Connect with Deborah Voll

Take The Midlife Quiz

Passion and Purpose Digital Workbook


Sarah Snyder returns to the podcast to share her newest book:  DIY Solo Retreats!  Sarah is a writer and conversationalist whose passion is helping others connect spiritually to the outdoors, nature and science.   

This conversation will inspire you because we all need to take more time to practice self-care.  A  DIY solo retreat is not about getting in the car and driving to your nearest spa.  This is about intentionally creating time and an environment to nurture yourself.  In her book, Sarah shares how to create a retreat in your home or remotely because let’s face it, with the pandemic we may want to remain socially distanced.  Also, many of us don’t have the luxury of going away for a retreat consistently so finding a way to create these opportunities is the best way to acknowledge and honor your needs. Plus recharge your battery!  

Sarah started her journey with the book by sharing on her blog different aspects of retreating. She received feedback that they were all very helpful and was asked if she could put together a book for her community. She then decided to take on the challenge and realized that there was a lot more she could share and expand on within the book.  The book:  DIY Solo Retreats, is under 25,000 words so it’s short and an easy read and will inspire you to take some time to create a retreat for yourself!  

Sarah shares why we need to create time for ourselves to retreat.  The retreat allows us to Calm the Chaos and turn into ourselves and own the power that we have internally.  The only way to do this is to schedule this time into your day or week!  Even 30 minutes per week is something and so important. It helps us to cope with the challenges that we are facing personally and as a collective society!  

We talk about “ME “ time and for Sarah, she defines that as MINE EXCLUSIVELY, which I thought was brilliant!  Had not heard of that before but it rang true for me.  The conversation then dives into being purposeful about the time we are creating for ourselves by having an intention of what we want to achieve in that time. It can be simple or complex.  Sarah recommends simple as she feels that simple is always best.  If you don’t set an intention with your retreat, then Sarah shares that from her experience, your mind may just run off thinking about your to-do lists!  That wouldn’t be very peaceful, would it?  Sarah shares some tips on how to keep even a short period focused and intentional for those who may just be beginning this practice.  

Sarah shares the importance of creating a set space for yourself to have your ME TIME and be able to retreat. This way your body and mind recognize that when you arrive at this place that you are safe and can then relax and set your intention.  Your mind has a muscle memory that knows that when you are in that space you know what to do.  As you become more experienced with your practice it will be easier to take it to other locations.  

Our discussion turns to how to prepare emotionally for a retreat.  Sarah says this is important especially if you are going to be dealing with a difficult topic or getting quiet and listening for answers that need some type of resolution.  For example, you may be contemplating a move or a job change and need to get quiet and have some clarity about questions you may have regarding these opportunities.  You’ll need to prepare yourself for what comes up.  Her words of wisdom are to expect the unexpected that may come up for you during your ME TIME  

Sarah shares her tips on how to put together a full-day retreat and why taking the time for an entire day to yourself is so important.  For Sarah, many of her full-day retreats involve being out in nature.  She may take herself out on a “date” to a botanical garden or a nature preserve. Somewhere peaceful where she can connect with herself and nature.  By getting away and out in nature you are less likely to be distracted by responsibilities at home.

We discuss the importance of getting quiet and finding ways to listen to yourself.   To Calm the Chaos, we need to get quiet in our minds and surroundings so we can hear our true desires!  

Sarah encourages you to permit yourself to take this time because it’s yours,  you deserve it, and don’t ever tell you that you are being selfish!